A new exhibition exploring the outbreak of the First World War and its impact on daily life across the local area has opened at the Flax Gallery, Mossley Mill.
Unveiled in time to mark the centenary of the declaration of war at 11pm on August 4, the Heritage Lottery-funded exhibition will explore through artefacts, photographs from the era and personal stories the impact of the onset of the war. It will look at the international build up to war and the conflict’s social and economic impact on the North East of Ulster between 1914 and 1915.
Entitled ‘Across the Hawthorn Hedge the Noise of Bugles’ - taken from the poem Carrickfergus by Louis McNiece, which portrays his boyhood memories of the town during the war - the exhibition also aims to provide fresh perspectives on local responses to recruitment and experience of battles such as Mons, Ypres and Gallipoli.
The touring exhibition has been developed by Mid-Antrim Museums Service in partnership with Causeway Museum Service.
The first of two exhibitions, Across the Hawthorn Hedge forms part of a three-year heritage-based project entitled ‘On the Brink: The Politics of Conflict 1914-1916’. Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, it supports community engagement with the impact and legacy of the outbreak of the First World War, the Battle of the Somme and the Easter Rising.
Across the Hawthorn Hedge the Noise of Bugles will continue at the Flax Gallery, Museum at The Mill until Saturday, September 6. Admission is free and there is free car and coach parking in the grounds.
The exhibition will subsequently tour to The Braid in Ballymena, Carrickfergus Museum & Civic Centre and Larne Visitor Information Centre.
Across the Hawthorn Hedge the Noise of Bugles will also be a resource for a series of facilitated workshops on the theme of recruitment being offered to community groups and secondary schools.
As part of the project, the Irish Great War Society (IGWS) will present a First World War themed living history event on Saturday, August 16 in the grounds of Mossley Mill. This will involve costumed IGWS members bringing alive aspects of the ordinary Irish soldier’s experience of volunteering and active service through the re-creation of a recruitment station and field medical station. A selection of First World War era military artefacts will also be on display.
The Mossley Mill First World War front line trench will feature prominently in the event, which will run from 1pm to 3.30pm. Admission is free of charge.
For more information about the Across the Hawthorn Hedge or upcoming workshops contact Maria Cagney by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by ringing Mid-Antrim Museum on 028 2563 5926.
For further details about the Flax Gallery exhibition contact Samantha Curry at Newtownabbey Borough Council by emailing email@example.com